IntroductionLimited social networks (a person's social relationships) are a risk factor for older adults' various health problems. Meta‐analyses have shown that a lack of social relationships is a major risk factor for mortality; contact with friends is associated with higher subjective well‐being; poor social relationships are a risk factor for cognitive decline, strokes and coronary heart disease; and frequent social contact can reduce the risk of developing dementia. Furthermore, some studies have shown that social networks with friends/neighbors have more influence on depressive symptoms than social networks with families, basic and instrumental activities of daily living, and mortality risks. However, compared with family members, the frequency of contact with friends decreases significantly with aging. Thus, strengthening social networks with friends and neighbors is important for promoting health among older adults.Nevertheless, effective interventions aimed at increasing older adults' social networks have not yet been established. As older adults spend more time in their local communities, establishing community‐based interventions targeting networks within a community are required. Previous studies aimed at increasing social networks in certain communities have targeted adults in general. Focusing on older populations, Coll‐Planas et al. showed that group‐based support programs can significantly increase social networks with friends, and
Geriatrics & Gerontology International – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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